I am searching for a study guide, as described in the question, giving comprehensive primary sources (e.g. ideally stating all discovered theogonies) and discussing each primary source.

It would be helpful if such a study guide gives the details of multiple (ideally all) versions of the myth (if there are multiple versions). It would also be helpful if the study guide put the works in internal chronology as well, e.g. Cypria before Iliad.

Thank you

1 Answer 1


There are literally hundreds of books on the topic, but the best one for serious work is Timothy Gantz's Early Greek Myth. This book goes through the earliest sources for the myths and chronicles their development over time. He even covers artistic representations.

I would not necessarily call it an "introduction," as it is a proper academic resource, but if you want to get to the original sources fast, this is your best bet.

Incidentally, the book is somewhat internally chronological, i.e. Perseus is covered before Heracles' labors, but the chapters will cover lineages as a whole, so if you read it front-to-back (instead of using it as a source book), you'll read about the Seven Against Thebes before reading about Tantalus. There are excellent genealogical tables in the back though to help guide you to what came first.

  • Sorry if there was misunderstanding, I’ve edited the question. I have seen Gantz's book recommended by other people. Thank you for giving me more confidence that this indeed meets my requirements. I wonder if the book gives and discusses sufficient primary works for my stated requirements. Mar 7, 2021 at 18:39
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    @Stewart It might not touch upon later sources too much, though when he thinks it echoes an earlier source he will include it. I only bemoan the fact that there aren't similar books for other mythological traditions.
    – cmw
    Mar 7, 2021 at 20:43
  • @Stewart So this is what you're looking for, right?
    – cmw
    Mar 11, 2021 at 19:10
  • Sorry for the delay in accepting the answer, I’ve started reading volume 1 of what was suggested, and the sources interest me. Mar 13, 2021 at 10:17

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